Marriage, Child-rearing and Building Relationships have a preeminent place in the teachings of the Bible.
This Bible Study series on The Christian Family hopes to highlight the significant role of the family setting in God’s plan for mankind.
Today’s topic: “Happy Christian Marriage” will underline God’s original intent on marriage, at the same time provide biblical principles and practical tips in making a successful marriage.
A good and happy marriage is a blessing from God. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 128.
Psalms 128 1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Psalms 128 4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.
We are all familiar with the traditional marriage vow.
“Do you BEN take SUSAN to be your wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in holy matrimony? To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?”
This vow has actually lost its meaning in the 21 st century lifestyle.
It has become: “For better, for best, for richer, for wealth, in goodness and in health until somebody better comes along.”
It is amazing how many people enter into the marriage covenant and violated it.
Humanity has actually forgotten that marriage is a lifetime commitment and is an institution ordained of God.
We present to you seven (7) Biblical principles to a successful married life. Try to practice them in your marriages.
Let us know of the results. If they work wonders drop us a note.
These seven principles are the foundation of a successful Christian marriage. These 7 principles are:
1.Realize marriage is a God ordained institution. Genesis 2:18-24
Gen 2:18 -24 18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
a. Have you ever wondered where the concept of marriage comes from? When it started? Who invented it?
Why there was a marriage rite in the first place? Why amongst God’s creation only humans marry? (Not even the angels.)
Marriage is not a human invention or tradition that runs out of fashion.
Marriage is a God ordained institution. Marriage is the first institution that God made.
Marriage is not a piece of paper, neither is it a legal contract. First and foremost, marriage is a God ordained institution.
It was God who invented marriage and He was the one who performed the very first marriage ceremony.
God presented Eve to Adam in Genesis 2:20-24, and God blessed them as a couple in marriage, Genesis 1:28.
Genesis 2:20-24 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Gen 1:28 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
The whole basis of marriage is love. Because the One who ordained it, is God and God is love. Therefore, we are created in love and to love.
b. It plays a central role in God’s predetermined plan.
Marriage is beyond procreation and sexual gratification. Marriage is the starting point of a family.
A man and a woman coming together in the bond of love to start a family. Realizing marriage as a God ordained institution gives us the right perspective on marriage.
It is a covenant made before God. It is God, our Creator, who makes the union.
Mark 10:9 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Marriage is a vow made before our Creator God. Therefore, it should not be broken. Marriage is a holy oath to love one another.
Ephesians 5:21 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
This principle echoes all throughout the scripture.
While there are warnings of being unequally yoked with unbelievers; marrying an unbeliever is by no means a sin. Nonetheless, this is a wise advise for a happy marriage.
A happy Christian marriage is based on commonality. The more things you share in common the happier the relationship will be.
Having the same hope, faith and spirit is a sure way of enhancing a marriage. It is not a guarantee for success though, but it is a great start. The marriage should be based on a strong bond of love, belief and God.
3. Marriage is a union – Of two becoming one. Matthew 19:4-6; Genesis 2:23
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,‘ 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:4-6
23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." Genesis 2:23
a. Marriage is a union. It is two flesh becoming one.
It is not about compromises. It is about agreements.
About thinking alike. About sharing hopes, dreams, aspirations and faith. It is the merging of two separate personalities into one.
Find, and even create something, anything that you both can share and enjoy together. Try sports (badminton, bowling, swimming or rock climbing, if you are more adventurous), hobbies (ballroom dancing, videoke, gardening), vacations, picnics, theaters, movies, dining out, cooking, reading, etc.
Take up lessons together. Do things together (clean the dishes, water the lawn, wash the car). Doing things together and finding commonality takes extra effort, but it is all worth it.
c. Why do you think that children cement or at least mend broken relationships?
It is because of common interest and concern for the children.
Children are a common focus of attention. Children bring parents together.
4. Marry your ideal man or woman. Proverbs 31:10-31; 1 Timothy 3:2-3
Proverbs 31:10-31 10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.14She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her
blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
1 Timothy 3:2-3 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
a.If you want to marry, marry someone you can’t live without.
Marriage is beyond physical attraction. It is hardly love at first sight.
It is often said: “Love at first sight is easy to understand. It is when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
Physical beauty fades with time, but the inner beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit is ageless. 1 Peter 3:4.
1 Peter 3:4 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
Some of the ideal qualities are in Proverbs 31:10-31 and 1 Timothy 3:2-3.
5. Slow to anger and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-19
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
a.It is natural for couples to encounter problems and experience marital conflicts.
Someone said: “My wife and I pledged we would never go to bed mad. sometimes, we have gone without sleep for 3 weeks.”
b. A story was told about a radio interview once had with an elderly couple in their 80’s who were married for 50 years.
They were asked the secret of their enduring and happy marriage. They narrated that the first week was disastrous marked with bitter exchanges. Then one night on the dinner table they made a vow to each other.
Here is the vow: “We love each other very much. You will never hurt me in spite of what you may say because I know you love me. Therefore, I shall refuse to be offended.”
That was the secret of their successful marriage. No offense - no hurt – the result is a happy marriage.
6. Love your spouse as yourself. Ephesians 5:22-33
Ephesians 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.
31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery —but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
a. We have the tendency to hurt the ones we love.
And this is because of carelessness, selfishness and insensitivity.
They say that love isn’t love until you give it away. At times, we love ourselves too much that we ignore and even don’t appreciate and extend love to our spouses.
At marriage, we become two parts of a whole. we become one.
If you hurt your spouse, you automatically hurt yourself. Ephesians 5:28.
Ephesians 5:28 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Therefore, you guys out there better love your wife or you will spend hell on Earth, right here, right now!
Loving your spouse begins with deciding that you love that person as much as you love yourself. Successful marriages are not something that comes automatically. A happy life together is something you make happen.
7. Enjoy life with your spouse. Ecclesiastes 9:7-8
Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
Enjoy life with the wife of your youth is to keep romance alive.
Friends and barkadas are okay, but please don’t leave out your spouses.
Have fun with your wife. How? Do things together, go out for movies, concerts, picnics, vacations, discos, etc. Talk together, explore together and laugh together. Keep the flame alive. Do things that you used to do when you were courting.
Communication is not only important in marriage but also complex and can be very interesting.
In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens.
In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.
2. the challenge of keeping the conversation positive. Say things that are nice to hear, edifying to the soul and keeps the harmony.
A husband and wife are getting ready for bed. The wife is standing in front of a full-length mirror taking a hard look at herself.
“You know, dear,” she says, “I look in the mirror, and I see an old woman. My face is all wrinkled, my hair is grey, my shoulders are hunched over, I’ve got fat legs, and my arms are all flabby.”
She turns to her husband and says, “Tell me something positive to make me feel better about myself.” He studies hard for a moment thinking about it and then says in a soft, thoughtful voice, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.”
3. The Challenge of understanding – the meeting of the minds.
A young son asked his father in perplexity saying: Is it true, Dad, I heard that in some parts of Africa a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries her? The dad replied: “that happens in almost all countries, my son.”
A man feared his wife was not hearing as well as she used to, and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem.
The doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give a better idea about her hearing loss. ‘Here’s what you do,’ said the doctor. ‘Stand about 40 feet away from her and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.’
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, ‘I’m about 40 feet away. Let’s see what happens.’ In a normal tone he asks, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
No response. So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife, and repeats, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, ‘Honey, What’s for dinner?’
Again, no response. So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. ‘Honey, What’s for dinner?’
Again, there is no response. So he walks right up behind her. ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’ ‘Earl, for the 5 th time, CHICKEN!’
Henny Youngman once said, (do not ask me who he is. I do not know him but he said): The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. It remains an elusive secret because people refuse the principles set-forth in the bible.
For tonight, here are the 7 practical tips to a happier marriage. Most of you probably them already.
Tip No. 1: Husbands love your wife as yourself. Col. 3:19 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
“I love you honey… I will die for you, my love.” “Oh dear, you are always saying that but you never do anything about it.”
Tip No. 2 Share everything together. It’s important that you share with each other your hopes and dreams.
Anticipating together has at least three benefits: 1. It helps couples to bond with each other; 2. it gives hope for the future; 3. it gives couples “light at the end of the tunnel” in the tough times that come in all relationships.
Mark 10:6 6 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
Tip No. 3 Forgive one another. Ephesians 4:26. 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
The ability to apologize, is a show of strength of character it is a strong predictor of successful marriages. Often, the apology has more benefit to the one giving it than the one receiving it.
Tip No. 4 Honesty in the relationship. Do not let the sun down in your anger. “My wife and I pledge not to go to bed mad. Of course, we have gone without sleep for 3 days.”
Tip No. 5 Do not deny each other. All work and no play is a dull marriage.
Proverbs 5:18 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Tip No. 6 Enjoy life with the spouse of your youth.
Eccl 9:9 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
Tip No. 7 Keep the bed honorable and marriage pure. Hebrews 13:4 4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
((((RING)))) **Pick Up** “Hello?” “Hi honey, this is Daddy, Is Mommy near the phone?” ”No Daddy, She’s upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.” After a brief pause, Daddy says, “But honey, you haven’t got an Uncle Paul.” “Oh yes I do, and he’s upstairs in the room with Mommy right now”.....
Brief Pause ”Uh, okay then,..this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door, and shout to Mommy that Daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.”
“Okay Daddy, just a minute” A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone. “I did it, Daddy” “And what happened honey?” he asked “Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all!”
“Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?” ”He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool.
“But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he’s dead” ***Long Pause*** ******Longer Pause****** Then Daddy says: “Swimming pool??.. Is this 486-5731??”
With marriage comes the family unit. You, who are married know this by experience. From the expression of your love one towards the other, new life is created.
Children are born from the union forming a family unit. As parents, we provide the best for the family and bring the children close to God.
The human family is patterned after the Divine Family. God is a Family, currently composed of Two Beings; The Father and The Son. The purpose of creation is to bring many sons unto glory. Hebrews 2:10. God is expanding His Family.
Hebrews 2:10 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
In fact, He is creating a Kingdom – a Kingdom composed of God-like beings. Jesus said in Hebrews 2:11 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
The Human Family is a type of the Kingdom of God. Through the institution of marriage, we are being prepared for the divine family relationship in the Kingdom. Within the family structure, we learn how to love, teach, share and care for one another, especially for our children, building Godly character in the process.
We hope these biblical principles of a happy marriage will help all of us live a happier and more romantic married life the way God intended marriage to be.
The most important thing is to realize the purpose of marriage – realizing it is a God ordained institution - what God puts together let no man put asunder.
Second thing to realize is that marriage is a journey made for two and is bound by love. In a marriage, there will always be challenges. The challenges are surmountable when love prevails. We hope you can put onto practice the biblical practical tips we have provided.
Happy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we marry.
We have made known to you the principles to a happy Christian marriage. May you have a happy and blessed married life and pray to God to help you make it so!
Next month, A Biblical Guide To Good Parenting end of slide